Asian pop culture began seeping into the West in the 1990s, with a stream of Japanese imports: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” Nintendo’s Pokemon, “Iron Chef” and anime cartoons, notes Adam Ware, CEO of Mnet, a new U.S. cable channel featuring only Asian content. Decades of videogames like “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter” have put martial arts in front of a generation. So have the karate and tae kwon do academies that seem to be in every town in America, trying to teach our kids some discipline. And mixed martial arts, where athletes combine Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Brazilian and American fighting styles, has exploded as a professional sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Fox recently signed a $90 million, eight-year TV deal. (Fox is owned by News Corp., which publishes The Wall Street Journal.)
It’s no surprise all this could lead to Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman clashing swords in the comic-book-and-videogame-inspired movie “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010), or Emily Browning facing a giant samurai in “Sucker Punch” (2011). [Read Here]
The Monsieur’s Brief: Fit men. Fighting prowess. Ability to handle self in any situation. It’s the return of the alpha male and more importantly, a subtle nod to the increasing dominance of East Asian influence I feel.